You may possibly have heard that Microsoft will be acquiring Activision Blizzard in a deal worth nearly $70 billion—the biggest ever in the games industry. It was the latest in a string of acquisitions by the Redmond giant in the gaming sphere, which included the purchase of Zenimax Media, and by extension Bethesda Softworks, as well as Minecraft developer Mojang Studios, among others.
All these buyouts have been part of Microsoft’s core strategy for Xbox. That is, to bolster Xbox Game Pass and make it the “Netflix of gaming.” So to say that Game Pass is central to this strategy is an understatement.
One analyst has estimated that the Activision Blizzard acquisition will bring a staggering 100 million new subscribers to Game Pass once the deal is finalized and big Activision Blizzard IPs like Call of Duty and Diablo start showing up on the service. In an interview with Yahoo Finance Live, Wedbush Securities Analyst Michael Pachter also spoke on Microsoft’s push to bring Xbox and Game Pass to as many screens as possible, saying:
Their future vision is, let’s eliminate the console. Let’s use the cloud, and let’s deliver games to any screen that you have. And that potential market is 3 and 1/2 billion people. So I don’t think they’ll get that many Game Pass subscribers, but will they go from 25 million to 100 million? Yes.
He also stated that he thinks Microsoft could close the Activision Blizzard deal by year’s end.